United Federal Party

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United Party (1934-53)
United Rhodesia Party (1953-58)
United Federal Party (post 1958)
Founded 1934
Dissolved 1970s
Headquarters Salisbury
Ideology Conservatism
White interests
Political position Centre-right
Colours Blue

The United Federal Party (UFP), previously known as the United Party (1934–53) and the United Rhodesia Party (1953–58), was one of Southern Rhodesia's most successful political parties, and governed the country (known since 1980 as Zimbabwe) for over 30 years. The party was formed as the United Party (UP) in 1934, under the leadership of Godfrey Huggins, when the ruling Reform Party merged with the Rhodesia Party (formed by Charles Coghlan in 1923).

The UP had a clear majority at every election between 1934 and 1958 except 1946, when Huggins still managed to remain as Prime Minister. When in 1953 the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland came into being and the colony of Southern Rhodesia became a territory alongside Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland, the United Party changed its name to the United Rhodesia Party, and in 1958 yet another merger took place, when the United Rhodesia Party merged with the Federal party to form the United Federal Party.

In the same year the party split following the sacking of the liberal Garfield Todd, who unsuccessfully contested the 1958 general election as head of a revived United Rhodesia Party.

In 1962 the United Federal Party lost the general election to the more conservative Rhodesian Front, and ceased to function effectively as a political force after the 1965 election and UDI. Of the 29 members elected in 1962, 14 were district seats representing primarily African voters. In 1965, no UFP members were elected.

The moderate current of white Rhodesian opinion (referred to by Ian Smith and others as the old "liberal establishment") failed to win a seat between 1965 and 1979, represented through such parties as the Centre Party, Rhodesia Party and National Unifying Force.

See also[edit]


Rasmussen, R. K., & Rubert, S. C., 1990. A Historical Dictionary of Zimbabwe, Scarecrow Press, Inc., Metuchen, NJ, United States of America.

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